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People in the News: Mo’ne Davis | Level 8 | By Little Fox

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[Series Introduction]

Young newscasters Ben and Olivia introduce well-known people from around the world. These “people in the news” have accomplished extraordinary things in science, sports, music, business, politics, and more!

[Subtitle]

OLIVIA: Hello, Little Fox readers, and welcome to People in the News. Today Ben has a cool story about a baseball player named Mo’ne Davis. She’s the American girl who drew worldwide attention while pitching in the 2014 Little League World Series. What’s so unusual about Mo'ne, Ben?

BEN: First of all, Olivia, most Little League players are boys. Mo’ne was the 18th girl to ever play in the World Series. But she was the first girl ever to pitch a shutout in the World Series. That means she pitched so well, the other team didn't even score! This was such an incredible feat that her baseball jersey is now in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Mo’ne Ikea Davis was born on June 24, 2001, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her stepfather is a construction worker and her mother is a nurse’s aide, studying to be a nurse. Mo'ne is the second of four children.
The first sport Mo’ne played wasn’t baseball; it was basketball. When she was seven years old, Mo'ne was tossing around a ball with some other kids, and a coach noticed her amazing throwing ability. So Coach Steve Bandura asked if she’d like to join the Monarchs, a basketball team at a local recreation center.
Mo’ne was eager to join the team, but her mother was unsure. This was a boys’ team! Mo’ne’s mother worried that Mo'ne would get hurt or that the boys would be mean to her.

OLIVIA: Was it hard for Mo’ne to go to her first practice?

BEN: She felt shy, but she was excited too. She joined right in, and was soon playing in games and scoring lots of points. In fact, many people think she’s better at basketball than baseball.
Every Monarch player was required to play two other sports: baseball and soccer. Mo’ne quickly excelled at all three. Coach Bandura taught the basics of each sport as well as good sportsmanship. Monarchs were expected to be gracious whether they won or lost. Most of all, the coach encouraged the kids to have fun.
Coach Bandura also took an interest in Mo’ne’s education. When he realized how smart she was, he encouraged her to apply to one of Philadelphia’s best private schools. She became an honors student at the school, even though it was a very long bus ride every day and she was busy with sports. Some nights Mo'ne had to stay up until one in the morning to get her schoolwork done.
When Mo’ne was ten, she almost quit baseball. She thought it was slow compared to basketball. She also hated the team’s demanding schedule. That summer her family visited five water parks; Mo’ne missed every outing!

OLIVIA: What changed Mo'ne's mind?

BEN: Her teammates didn't want her to quit, and the Monarchs were about to take a trip across the country to play other baseball teams. So Mo'ne kept playing. In her autobiography, Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name, Mo'ne encourages other kids to stick with activities too: "Look at all the things I would have missed out on if I had quit baseball."
Mo’ne’s schedule got even busier when she started playing baseball for a team called the Taney Dragons. Unlike the Monarchs, the Dragons were an official Little League team. Mo'ne became the Dragons' best pitcher. She could throw a fastball that traveled about seventy miles per hour! In a playoff game in 2014, Mo'ne pitched so well, she shut out the other team. And the win advanced the Dragons to the Little League World Series!
By the time the Dragons arrived at the World Series, everyone was talking about the Dragons and the girl with the fastball. Outside Philadelphia’s city hall, giant TVs were set up so people could watch the Dragons play.
In the team's first World Series game, Mo’ne pitched another shutout. The crowd watching her in the stadium went wild! TV stations and newspapers wanted to interview her. Everybody wanted her autograph. Many famous people—sports stars, movie stars . . .

[Little Fox Introduction]

Little Fox is an award-winning library of leveled stories and songs. We create animated stories and songs to help kids to learn English easily as a second language (ESL). Visit our website, www.littlefox.com, to learn more about our unique curriculum and our thousands of digital resources.

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